Troy v'ball wins non-conference match on road

Photo Courtesy: Troy University
Photo Courtesy: Troy University

NORMAL, AL. - The Troy University Trojans volleyball team defeated Alabama A&M 3-1 (25-11, 23-25, 25-12, 25-19) Wednesday night in non-conference action. It is the 12th time in school history that the Trojans have defeated Alabama A&M.

"When we were emotionally involved in the match we played really well," head coach Sonny Kirkpatrick said. "We weren't focused in the second set and let them take the lead, but we settled down and were able to pull out the victory. It was a great win on the road for us."

In the first set, Troy took an early lead with a kill from sophomore Devin Von Pingel and a service ace from sophomore Kayla Giles. The Bulldogs fought to stay in the set, but were never able to get any closer than four points of Troy. The Trojans were able to extend this lead to 15-7 with kills from a pair of juniors in Brittany McClelland and Natasha Kolunija. The Bulldogs tried to rally, but their efforts weren't enough, as Troy held on the lead with a pair of kills from Von Pingel. The set was won by the Trojans on kills from McClelland and Victoria Rogoschewsky.

In the second set the Trojans and Alabama A&M battled point for point, until Alabama A&M was able to pull away with a 7-4 lead. Troy was able to launch a rally and come within two of the Bulldogs with kills from McClelland and Von Pingel. From that point, kills from Von Pingel and Kolunija kept the Trojans in the set, but the Bulldogs quickly pulled in front 16-10. Troy was able to come back and tie Alabama A&M at 18-all with kills from Von Pingel and McClelland. From that point, the set was tied four times until Alabama A&M was able to pull away from Troy at 22-all and eventually took the set.

After intermission, a pair of kills from Kolunija and a kill from Rogochewsky gave the Trojans a 6-3 lead. The three-point lead quickly faded, as the Bulldogs pulled within one at 10-9, but kills from senior Megan Henderson, McClelland and Giles pushed the lead back in the favor of the Trojans. Alabama A&M battled enough to stay in the set from this point, but 10 consecutive points under Henderson serving; along with kills from Pingel, Kolunija and Giles sent Troy to the third set victory and a 2-1 lead overall in the match.

In the fourth, and final set, the two teams tied the set four different times before Troy was able to pull away after a 4-all tie with a kill from Von Pingel. The Bulldogs were able to stay close to Troy and stayed within two for much of the early portion of the set. However, kills from Kolunija, McClelland and Von Pingel were able to keep Troy ahead of Alabama A&M. After a timeout, the Bulldogs were able to within one of Troy at 20-19, but a kill from Von Pingel quickly halted any rally and the Trojans were able to take the fourth set from the Bulldogs for the victory.

Troy will return home this weekend to Sartain Hall as they face conference foes Middle Tennessee and WKU. The Trojans and Middle Tennessee play Friday night at 7 pm, while the Lady Toppers take on Troy Saturday afternoon at 3 pm.